by: Jim Strickland Updated:NORCROSS, Ga. —
Following Wednesday’s fire on board a Megabus en route to North Carolina from Atlanta, Channel 2 is digging into the discount bus services records.
Megabus said federal investigators spent the day Thursday at the company’s Norcross home looking into the fire.
The company said it has invested $150 million into new buses with top technology, but federal records show Megabus runs 26 million trips a year, and they take a toll on the vehicles.
Channel 2’s Jim Strickland spoke with Krystal Foster at the Megabus stop on West Peachtree Street. She said she arrived from Memphis four hours late after her bus had to be replaced mid-trip.
“We had to wait on another bus to pick us up, because the bus was smoking when they pulled up,” Foster said.
Transportation attorney Bruce Mitchell scanned Megabus’ federal record, and found a laudable maintenance record.
“They have to keep up with the maintenance on these buses, because they’re running the wheels off these buses and the maintenance is a big issue,” Mitchell said.
There have been problems, despite their good maintenance track record. Four people were killed in Syracuse, NY in a crash deemed a driver error. Two pedestrians were killed in Chicago, including a woman who died on Tuesday. Both drivers were cited in the deaths.
Last week in Illionois, one passenger was killed when one of the buses blew a tire and crashed.
Last year, a Megabus caught fire on a highway in Canada.
Strickland also found records of drunk driving arrests for Megabus drivers, one in Michigan in 2008 and another in Iowa last year.
Passengers preparing to board on Thursday said they had no issues.
“There are seat belts inside. They make you well aware of the exits. I have no dear at all riding Megabus,” a passenger said.